Freemasons contribute to Courtyard Project at Cornwallis Court Care Home


Residents Jean Dorothy cutting the ribbonResidents Jean Dorothy cutting the ribbon

The Friends of Cornwallis Court, which consists of freemasons from Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, held a celebratory garden party on 18th August to mark the completion of the courtyard upgrade project at Cornwallis Court Care Home in Bury St. Edmunds.

The central courtyard at the care home consisted of an elevated lawn planted with trees and some flowers, but the only access was by steps so residents in wheelchairs were not able to use it. During lockdown in 2020 the Friends of Cornwallis Court decided to make the space accessible to all residents by converting it into a flat, Mediterranean-style courtyard. The upgrades, including weather-proof tables and chairs complete with umbrellas, cost £34,000, much of which was paid for by donations from local lodges and individuals.

Around 60 people, including residents and staff, celebrated the official opening of the Courtyard with champagne and nibbles, with entertainment by an accordion player. Several freemasons and their wives were able to re acquaint themselves with residents who they had not been able to visit for nearly three years.

A celebratory ribbon was cut by the two oldest residents, Jean Wood and Dorothy Crane, both 102, followed by a short opening speech by Peter Green, Chairman of Friends of Cornwallis Court and a reply from care home Manager Denise O Brien.

Peter said; “We used a lot of labour from local freemasons – thanks go to Des Bliss for the building work and Andy Gentle for the tree removal. Special thanks go to our Treasurer, Peter Davis, for managing the finances and generally overseeing the project – especially as many of us in the committee were unable to visit or were shielding during the height of the pandemic”.

The friends, trustees and members are very grateful to all the staff who enabled the garden party to happen, particularly care home managers Denise and Angela, and event co-ordinators Samantha Wiseman and Emma Gibson for all the work they put in to make the day a success.